WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN LIFE COACH?
First of all, let’s look at what the term Life Coach means. A Life Coach is a professional trained in effective listening, asking, and hearing between words spoken. A Life Coach seeks to be non-judgmental and walks beside you as a support, accountability partner and encourager. A Life Coach usually meets with a client through weekly telephone calls, but sometimes meets in person, by email or mail. Many life coaches facilitate groups, do speaking and writing as well.
In this day and age when close friends who have time to truly listen are hard to come by, a personal Life Coach can fill the gap. In some situations it proves more effective to have a go-to person such as a Life Coach outside your organization that can hear you objectively on a matter.
While similar to Counselling in some ways, Life Coaching is different. It focuses primarily on where a person is and where they want to head, rather than focusing on resolution of deep issues, addictions, hurt, abuse, turmoil, relationship breakdown or dysfunction.
Being a Christian coach doesn’t imply we only coach individuals in Christian organizations, other Christians or spend our time talking about God, Life Coach Jesus and The Bible. As Christian coaches we believe strongly in the connection of Mind, Body and Spirit (or Soul). We address all areas. We believe God is creator and orchestrator of life’s events and we don’t want to leave him out of the equation. Coaching is more powerful when God or Christ and his character is included in the mix.
Often a Christian coach will include prayer in her sessions with a client. The Christian coach will often pray for a client between sessions, and most certainly will ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for working with a client prior to a session.
Most Christian Life Coaches consider themselves God’s vessel to assist his people in becoming all he intends by helping them through life’s challenges and in celebrating life’s joys with them.
As Christian Life Coaches, we have a foundational understanding of God’s word, and are careful that the direction we go with a client falls within God’s ideals.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN GOING TO MY PASTOR?
Pastors usually have training in counselling. Certified Life Coaches have studied and trained specifically so that they have a different tool set than a pastor or counsellor. Christian Life Coaches like to look at the bigger picture, the picture outside of a church setting, and they like to focus on possibilities and dreams. The usually love helping dreams take flight. Often pastors don’t have the interest or time to do that specifically for an individual.
WHAT KIND OF THINGS MIGHT I USE A CHRISTIAN LIFE COACH FOR?
Many Christian Life Coaches will have a defined niche that they feel more adept in. A good coach will be forthcoming if the type of assistance a client is seeking isn’t within her realm of qualifications. For instance, as a Life Purpose Coach for women, while I have some diversity, my main focus is helping a woman find her Life Purpose. If someone came to me looking for advice on how to run their business better, I may choose to refer them to a Business Coach rather that take them on myself.
Another Christian Life Coach may focus on families, grief or job transition. Some call themselves by specific names such as Grief Coach or Career Coach. If you have a specific area you are looking for help in, try to find a coach that specializes in that area. If you like to discuss over a variety of life issues, a general Life Coach should suffice.
WHY SHOULD I PAY SOMEONE TO TEACH ME ABOUT GOD’S PURPOSE OR HAVE A TELEPHONE CALL WITH ME?
Life Coaches have spent time, energy and money on their training, tools, resources and marketing. For some, coaching is only one aspect of services they offer, but for many this is their career just as your career is yours. They need to make a living and cover costs just as you do.
Jesus says a worker deserves his wages. Life Coaching is our work.
Not only do we spend time on a telephone call with you, but we spend time reading your emails, prep forms, writing up your contract and praying for you. We often take on an emotional burden when we are working with you. We set aside all things for your specific appointment time; there aren’t many jobs that a person will gear their entire day around for one hour of paid work.
Working with a Life Coach on a steady basis can have deep and compelling results for the client. Sometimes a client will have an aha moment on a call, and other times revelations come to them during the week as they mull the call over in their head. Long term clients will confess that they are a better person a year later as a result of working with a life coach.
A good Christian Life Coach has a heart for helping people to draw closer to God, hear from him, and be supported in carrying out their unique life mission for him in the world.
DO WE ONLY TALK ABOUT THE BIBLE?
We absolutely do not only talk about the Bible. We are mind, body and soul. A Christian Life coach wants to know what you think, feel and dream of. She wants to help you tackle difficulties from a variety of angles or see things from a new perspective.
A Christian Life Coach will encourage you to take real action steps and ask about them later. She won’t end the call saying, “just pray about it.”
A good Christian Life Coach will challenge you. She will be prepared to hear it all, the bad and the good, because after several years using her skills, there isn’t much she hasn’t heard or that shocks her.
WILL MY CHURCH FIND OUT ABOUT ME?
Most Christian Coaches follow best practices of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). You should make sure you sign a contract with your coach. The contract should detail a confidentiality agreement between the two of you. There should be no reason for your coach to interact with your church unless there is something she is made aware of that is illegal or dangerous to your church.
DOES IT MATTER IF I CHOOSE A REGULAR LIFE COACH OVER A CHRISTIAN COACH?
It may and it may not. There are many coaches trained in theories that involve beliefs that would contradict those of the Christian faith. If the Christian faith is your own, you may be troubled by some of these theories. It is best to interview perspective coaches and determine if they are for you.